established as a Home for Masonic orphans and later expanded to
encompass needy children from a myriad of backgrounds, the Illinois
Masonic Fraternity is proud of its heritage. Masons throughout the
State of Illinois continue to support this charitable cause in their
effort to care for the less fortunate in our society.
Masonic Children's Home was incorporated by the Illinois Secretary of
State on March 11, 1885. Once the incorporation was complete and
funding established, the first Home was opened in the city of Chicago on
Carroll Avenue and Sheldon Street in the year of 1886. Four
children took up residency at that time.
it was evident that more space was needed and in 1909 the Fraternity
approved expanding the Home and a move was made to the Chicago suburb of
LaGrange. The Home in LaGrange was constructed on a four acre
site, and in March, 1911 seventy-eight children took up residency at
that location. That facility was indeed a huge structure, caring
for as many as 314 children in 1931. The Home featured large
dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, a commercial print shop, library,
a large dining area, and even had its own skating rink. It could
truly be described as a turn of the century orphanage.
By the early
1960s the population of the Home had dramatically decreased and the
leadership of the Fraternity once again sensed the need for a change.
Thus, on June 2, 1963 the cornerstone for the present LaGrange facility
was laid. The campus in LaGrange is home to 38 children and sits
on a nine acre site.
2004 the Masonic Fraternity of the State of Illinois took another step
in their commitment to serving needy children with the opening of a
second Home in downstate Illinois. Located in the City of
Murphysboro, this second facility sits on a three acre campus. The
facility is home to 24 children. The campus consists of an
administrative building, three residential cottages, and playground
areas. It's small town setting near the City of Carbondale and
Southern Illinois University offers many growth-enhancing opportunities.
For more than
a century, the Masonic Fraternity of Illinois has continued its
commitment in caring for needy children.
Children's Home c.1886
The LaGrange Home c. 1911
The LaGrange Administration Building
A Residential Cottage at Murphysboro